Before getting knee deep in the garden to plant your favourite summer fruits and veggies, remember that not all plants play nice! Companion planting, which involves strategically placing two or more plants together for mutual benefit, is a useful technique to help ensure your garden thrives. Companion planting enhances quality, growth, and is learned through lots of trial and error! Read on for the do’s and don’ts of this common gardening practice:
DO: Plant near beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radishes, and turnips.
DON’T: Plant near chives, garlic, leeks, onions, or peppers.
TIP: Keep this one away from all bulb veggies!
DO: Plant near cabbage, corn, cucumbers, fennel, lettuce, and onions.
DON’T: Plant near cilantro or tomatoes
TIP: Dill cross-pollinates with cilantro, and if that happens both plants will be ruined. It is also one of the few plants that grows well with fennel.
DO: Plant near carrots, celery, onions, and peppers.
DON’T: Plant near broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, or cucumbers.
TIP: Growing basil about 10 inches from tomatoes increases the yield.
4. Broccoli and Cauliflower
DO: Plant near beets, celery, dill, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, onions, and potatoes.
DON’T: Plant near peppers, squash, strawberries, or tomatoes.
TIP: Planting near dill will help attract wasps, which will improve pest control.
DO: Plant near beans, cucumbers, peas, parsnips, pumpkins, squash, and zucchinis.
DON’T: Plant near tomatoes.
TIP: Tomato worm and corn earworm like both plants, so be careful. Also, beans and peas supply nitrogen, so keep them close by.
DO: Plant near borage, bush beans, and caraway.
DON’T: Plant near broccoli or cabbage.
TIP: Borage is their strongest companion.
DO: Plant near celery, corn, cucumbers, radishes, strawberries, and summer savory.
DON’T: Plant near chives, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers, or marigolds.
TIP: Anything in the bean family does not grow well with most veggies, particularly bulb vegetables.
IMPORTANT: Sunflowers need to be planted at least 12 inches away from any other plants as they emit a toxin from their roots, making it hard for other plants to survive.
Put this gardening advice to use and you will be the envy of the neighbourhood. Enjoy fresh fruits and veggies all summer long, and remember Less Mess at your next BBQ when friends and family ask, “you really grew this yourself?”